by Mary Kay Barton, Master Resource
Industrial wind is a net loser, economically, environmentally, technically and civilly. Let’s examine how.
New York State has some of the highest electricity rates in the U.S., a whopping 53 percent above the national average, in large part due to throwing hundreds of billions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars into the wind. High electricity costs drive people and businesses out and ultimately hurt the poor the most.
Why destroy entire towns, when just one 450 megawatt gas-fired combined cycle generating unit located at New York City (where the power is needed in New York state) operating at only 60 percent of capacity, would provide more electricity than all of the wind factories in the state combined — at about a quarter of the capital costs, and without all the negative civil, economic, environmental, human health and property value impacts of industrial wind factories, or all the additional transmission lines to New York City.
The Institute for Energy Research tallied the numbers and found that each wind job costs $11.45 million, plus more than four jobs lost elsewhere in the economy; and all while wind is subsidized over 52 times more than conventional fossil fuels on a unit of production basis.
According to AWEA, there are approximately 45,100 industrial wind turbines in the U.S. today. They are remotely sited, far removed from urban centers where the power is needed, and necessitate the addition of a spider web of new transmission lines (at ratepayers’ expense), which will exponentially add to the needless bird deaths being caused by turbines themselves. Additionally, sprawling industrial wind factories cause massive habitat fragmentation, which is cited as one of the main reasons for species decline worldwide.
Studies show there are MILLIONS of birds and bats being slaughtered annually by these giant “Cuisinarts of the sky” (as a Sierra official dubbed IWTs in a moment of candor). (See: www.SaveTheEaglesInternational.org)
Because wind provides no capacity value, or firm capacity (specified amounts of power on demand), wind cannot replace our reliable, dispatchable baseload generators. Thus, wind needs constant “shadow capacity” from our reliable, conventional generators and, therefore, locks us into dependence on fossil fuels, while failing to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The list of accidents, blade failures (throwing debris over ½ mile), fires (10X more than previous wind industry claims), and more, is updated quarterly. [Read more…]